SA ROCK DIGEST ISSUE NUMBER 6

This issue of the SA Rock Digest went out on the 4th March 1999.

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In this issue:

Introduction
Feedback
from the horse’s mouth
final vinyl
alpha and omega
time to suck
the folk back home
beating around the bush
coleske
magic moments in SA music
Regulars
in my car this week
banned on the run
take me down to Cape Town
Pop quiz
Snippets
music and memories meeting
SA music day
Rocky Horror Show
Garden Party


INTRODUCTION

This is a discussion forum for anything about
South African rock music; past, present and future.

Read it, digest it, enjoy it, send in your comments
and tell your friends….

The response to this Digest has been incredible and
I am not able to fit in all the postings I’ve received
in this issue. If your request, question or submission
does not appear here, please be patient – I just don’t
want to make this digest too long.


FEEDBACK

FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH

Last issue, Nick asked “where is Petit Cheval?”

Well…Sharon Smit from Milestone studios made contact
with me and supplied Jonathan Selby’s phone number.

I spoke to him recently and he has now joined this digest
and will post his own reply to Nick’s question very soon!


FINAL VINYL

Secondhand Vinyl – try the various branches of Cash Converters
and Cash Crusaders and, if you have some time on Saturday afternoons,
visit school fetes, Maynardville carnival and the like, where LP’s and
singles can often be picked up for a “song”.

— Peter Alston


ALPHA AND OMEGA

Mike Brand from the original “Omega LTD” calling.

All the lads from the original Omega band who turned professional
in late ’69, are still in Cape Town…
1) Louis Greef
2) Derek Gordon
3) Alan Weinberg
4) Myself

{Cultured Editor: I used to watch these guys at the Clifton Hotel in
the late 70s. They are probably best known for their rendition of
Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto. Tchaikovsky One is available on the
“Best Of SA Pop Volume 2” 2CD set. They also covered Rimsky-Korsakov’s
Flight Of The Bumble Bee.}


TIME TO SUCK

Leon Economides writes:

(Time To Suck by Suck) was released in 1970 on Parlophone.
Unfortunately my original copy was liberated by a good “friend”, but
I did manage to pick up a mint copy of a French pressing on Mega Phone
records in Munich in 1992, so, unfortunately I can’t give you the
original catalogue number.

I also managed to get hold of a Never Never Land CD pressing last year,
the catalogue number being 758036005. You can hear that the disc was
made from a vinyl copy of the album, but what the hell – it’s great to
have it on disc! The sleeve is also an exact replica of the original.

The band members were:

Stephen Gilroy on Guitar (British Citizen)
Saverio Grande on Drums (Italian Citizen)
Louis Joseph Forer on Bass (S.A. Citizen)
Andrew Ionnides on Flute and Vocals (S.A. Citizen)

The track listing is as follows:

1). Aimless Lady
2). 21st Century Schizoid Man
3). Season of the Witch
4). Sin’s a good man’s brother
5). I’ll be Creeping
6). The Whip
7). Into the Fire
8). Elegy

The CD also has a bonus track:
9). War Pigs

I think King Crimson, Brian Auger, Free, Deep Purple, Colosseum and
Black Sabbath would be quite chuffed that their tracks were so well
covered! The album was produced by Julian Laxton, under the direction
of Clive Calder.


THE FOLK BACK HOME

Leon again…

Folk outfit, Flibbertigibbet, had ties with what was arguably the UK’s
best ever folk rock outfit, Mellow Candle, whose sole record, Swaddling
Songs, released in 1972, is now one of the most sought after recordings
from the Deram/Decca stable, next to Leaf Hounds’ Growers of Mushroom
album. Mint copies of the Mellow Candle easily fetch upwards of 400
Pounds {R4000!) on the collector’s market.

Vocalist Alison O’Donnell (formerly Williams), and vocalist/guitarist
Dave Williams came to SA from the UK in 1975. They formed
Flibbertigibbet with vocalist Jo Dudding and guitarist Barrie Glen.
Their only album, called “Whistling Jigs to the Moon”, also featured
one of the most talented musicians this country has seen, bassist Denny
Lalouette, a man who can hold his own amongst the world’s best.

It was released in 1978 on Stanyan records, which was a private label,
as were two singles, one in 1978 and the other in 1979, when the band
broke up.

Good news for those who’ve been trying to get a copy of the album;
British label, Kissing Spell, released the album on CD in the mid 90’s
as part of their Erewhon Underground Folk-Rock Series (Catalogue number
KSCD 9510-F). An album of early unreleased Mellow Candle songs and demo
versions of tracks that would later appear on “Swaddling Songs”, called
“The Virgin Prophet” (Catalogue number KSCD 9520-F), was also released
by the label at about the same time.

Alison Williams took part in the Tortue Reviews in Rockey Street, Jhb,
before returning to the UK. David became head of light music with the
SABC in Cape Town. If Folk-Rock in the Fairport/Trees/Wooden Horse vein
is your bag, both Mellow Candle and Flibbertigibbet are essential
listening.

On the subject of Folk-Rock (well, sort of, anyway!), another band that
deserves a mention is Stone Jug. Formed by the Bush family, John and
Hugh on vocals and acoustic guitar and Jenny on vocals, bassist Trevor
Turner and Roger Sheppard on vocals and tabla, they released their
eponymously titled album on Epidemic Records (RASH 6001), in 1972.
Julian Laxton guested on guitar (he did get around, didn’t he?!), as
well as doing the engineering work. Drummer Cedric Samson also did his
bit as did Dan Hill, who played keyboards and arranged the horns.
Recorded at RPM studios in Jhb, the album was produced by Chris
Kritzinger.

Quite folky at times, they sometimes sounded a bit like Crosby, Stills,
Nash and Young with some really tasteful vocal harmonies. The track,
“Chicken Heart”, chosen as one of the two singles, was really good.
Don’t know if they had much success with it, though.

{“Folk-y” Editor: Chicken Heart by Stone Jug is on The Best Of SA Pop
volume 2 disc 1. I remember it received radio play in the early 70s}


BEATING AROUND THE BUSH

Have had a look at your website regarding charts etc. At last I’ve
found a site that understands me. It will be really excellent when
completed I’m sure.

http://www.rock.co.za/files/sarocklists.html

I was not aware that there was a 6CD set called The Best of SA Pop.
Is that the same series which I believe was issued by Gallo which came
as a 2 CD pack (When local was lekker)? By the way is that onto Vol 3
and upwards?

Is there any of the old Michael (Mike) Eagar songs such as “What Have I
done” and “Just How High” etc on there?

Hope you don’t mind me testing your knowledge but trying to find
somebody in SA with the same passion as me for music is pretty rare!!

{Passionate editor: I thought the same until this digest! There are
actually a lot of us}

Would you object to me faxing you a list of tracks I’m trying to get
hold of for nostalgia’s sake and advise if you’ve seen any around?

One to think of: Remember the novelty “Dance King Kong” by the
Schroeder Brothers and “Skateboard” By Blend. These were never chart
hits but both by SA artists released on EMI.

Finally if you like radio nostalgia I have all the SA Top 30/some Top
20, Springbok Radio, and David Gresham shows theme tunes and jingles
recorded for me by Russell Pope (an old producer for SBOK) on a
cassette tape. Not the most brilliant of copies but there anyway!!

In my desperation to find old tracks I actually spoke to David Gresham
a couple of months back and what a nice chap he actually was. He sent
me a copy of his new compilation David Gresham’s Top 20 Hit Picks.
Interesting!! Would be nice if he could bring out a series!!

Another quick question? Where did “Bubbly” come From? “O me O my
Goodbye” and “Valentino” were their SA chart hits and they were on the
PYE label. Have you seen this on any compilation?

— Chris Bush (from the UK)

{“Passionate-for-pop” editor: 2 people involved with the The Best Of SA
Pop series are Digest members, so c’mon guys lets have some feedback}


COLESKE

Neil Daya from Vibes, N1 City writes:

One recent CD which I haven’t seen mentioned on these pages is the
Coleske brothers effort. I feel that it fits comfortably into the
rock/pop category, and while some may feel that it is merely a
derivation of Simon and Garfunkel, Bread, America, etc, etc, etc, I
really feel that the brothers deserve some recognition for their album.
The success of the album, not only in South Africa but also in Europe,
speaks for itself.

Something which has been a topic of conversation recently is the gap
between overseas and South African production and mastering. The work
on the Coleske CD in terms of the production deserves to be
congratulated. Also, let’s not forget the musicians who contribute to
the album. Mauritz Lotz has got to be the most recorded guitarist in
S.A. in recent years (with the possible exception of Jethro Butow),
and Denny Lallouette also pops up on masses of South African L.P.’s.
I have great respect for these musicians who can fit in with the sound
of numerous bands, playing totally different types of music. With these
two names, I half-expected the drummer to be Kevin Kruger (what’s he up
to these days??), but Wally Cullis does magnificently. Accolades also
to Harold Schenk and Barry Snyman.

On the older side of things, what are the chances of our well-connected
editor getting somebody to put some of the Hawk stuff onto CD? I’m
the proud owner of “African Day” and “Live and Well” (on L.P.), and I’m
sure it would be possible to get “African Day” and “Africa She too can
cry” onto one CD. Dave Ornellas’s voice is brilliant. Check out also
his offspring in their gospel band, Naked Lyric. Danny and Beshara
obviously have inherited all the right genes from their talented father.

See more about Hawk at http://www.rock.co.za/hawk

{“Well-connected” editor: well, the people who have the rights to
release Hawk on CD are on this Digest, so-o-o-o…}


MAGIC MOMENTS IN SA MUSIC

These are those incidents, that when remembered, send cold shivers up
and down your spine. If nothing does that to you, then you’re dead.

Here are a few of mine…

1.The bass riff in So Cold by Hotline.

2.Who Killed Kurt Cobain? a song by Koos Kombuis…this is a classic,
it should have made the US charts – a disgrace that it didn’t!

3.Willem Moller’s guitar on Sex by the Pressure Cookies.

I heard this song on the radio and was blown away by the guitar,
but I had no idea who it was, or even that it was local, until the
Meatloaf concert in 1996 when the Pressure Cookies were the support
band. The next day I bought the CD! (Pressure Cookies not Meat Loaf!)

Tonia Selley also autographed the cover for me, when I met her at the
Rodriguez concerts in March last year.
Never too old to be a groupie, hey?

4.”Follow me up!” – the ending from Kilimanjaro by Juluka – I taped the
live version from SABC-TV sometime in the mid-to-late 80s. Truly
brilliant. All I have left though is the audio track of this one song,
but what a great version. That last line gives me goosebumps.

5.Opening riff to Sarajevo by Jack Hammer. Like Metallica? Then you’ll
love this. Stunning guitar solo as well.

6.”Toe ons weer so kyk, het ‘n AK jou F****d-up geskiet” – from Goeie
Nag Generaal by Piet Botha. The first time I heard that line I nearly
crashed my car. Here’s someone who understands what some of us went
through.

Maybe its not PC to talk about this stuff, but Piet does and I thank
him for that.

Another song with a similar theme, but a completely different feel, is
David Kramer’s Prisoners Of War – haunting.

7.Kenny Henson’s guitar on Playgrounds In Paradise by Finch and Henson.
Stunning atmospheric guitar solo. Reminds me of David Gilmour from Pink
Floyd in places. Brilliant.

8.Allan Faull on Makin’ Out With Granny by Falling Mirror. Incredible
fretwork from a master guitarist – lovely stuff.

Tully McCully, the producer and bass guitarist for the Mirror told me
that Allan’s guitar solo was done in one rehearsal take! Tully had the
tapes running while Allan rehearsed and captured the magic first time.

9.Max Mikula/Julian Sun on I’m Tempted To Stay by Karma. Raw and raunchy
rock guitar…superb. Karma’s One Day Soon was reviewed in last week’s
issue of the digest.

10.The vocal harmonies on McCully Workshop’s Buccaneer. Excellent.

11.Tribal Fence by Margaret Singana. Originally a Freedoms Children
track, this was re-recorded by Rabbitt (featuring Margaret Singana)
and then she re-recorded it herself. Margaret has a wonderful rock
voice and the arrangement here by Patric van Blerk is suitably epic
and powerful.

Margaret has recorded tracks by Creedence, Hawk, Freedoms Children and
Julian Laxton so her Rock credentials are more than satisfactory in my
opinion.

Read more…
http://www.rock.co.za/files/ladyafrica.html

12.The flute-playing on the first Otis Waygood Blues Band album.
Wonderful Jethro Tull-style progressive blues-rock sound.

More…
http://www.rock.co.za/files/otis_waygood.html

Please send in your comments…
What are your magic moments in SA music?
A song, a concert, a radio show, a guitar solo, a bass riff, a drum
pattern, an opening note, whatever…?


REGULARS

IN MY CAR THIS WEEK

Paul Weller – Modern Classics: The Greatest Hits…
cool, hard, heavy, soulful, bluesy, progressive —
just some of the terms to describe the music of Paul Weller.

Various Artists – Only What You Want To Hear…5FMs excellent
compilation of the sounds of 1998. Includes a number of SA bands,
yeah – way to go, guys… now if only somebody would reply to my
e-mails!

Ramases – Glass Top Coffin…a CD-R of the old 1975 progressive rock
album from the guy who brought us the Space Hymns album

http://www.rock.co.za/files/spacehymns.html

Jack Hammer – Death Of A Gypsy…Piet Botha and friends stun with
hard, heavy and harsh rock.

David Kramer – Klassic Kramer…wonderful SA imagery from this
amazing artist. His sound-paintings of life in the Platteland are
incredible. “I’m as happy as hotel in the springtime when the flowers
bloom again”. Anybody who has ever tried to find accomodation in the
Namqualand in August will know exactly what he means.


BANNED ON THE RUN

More banned songs…

The Osmond’s Crazy Horse was banned ’cause they thought it was about
heroin
Free Mandela – Special AKA
Sit Dit Af – Johannes Kerkorrel
David Kramer was the SA artist most banned by the SABC

— Deon Maas

…add to the list “Melting pot” by Blue Mink and “To Sir
with love” (banned 1965, unbanned 10 years later), also “Helter
Skelter” by the Beatles.

— Peter Alston

{Editor: Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd was banned, I’m sure.
Jesus Christ Superstar, Jethro Tull’s Aqualung and Rodriguez’s Cold
Fact were all banned from SABC radio play}


TAKE ME DOWN TO CAPE TOWN

More songs that mention Cape Town in their lyrics…

Somer – Johannes Kerkorrel
N2 – Sons of Trout
Soul Vandal – Sugardrive

— Deon Maas

David Kramer’s “Going away” which mourns the forced removals from
District Six and “Piet Mockingbird” in which the title character
appears in concert at the Nico Malan.

{Editor: Also David Kramer’s Bakgat Boogie refers to a “jeet” in
Rondebosch}

By the way, who did “Take me down to old Cape Town” which was the theme
song for the 1991 Cape Town Festival – I rather think D Kramer had a
hand in the production? Where is it available?

{Editor: Isn’t this the Ballyhoo song recorded in 1982 and released on
the b-side of Don’t Go Walking With My Heart? It was written by Attie
van Wyk and Mark Grey. Mark was from the UK band Exile.}


POP QUIZ

Previous issue:

Pendelum’s Take My Heart was based on Ketelby’s In A Persian Market.

First correct answer was from Rene Mullenders in Holland!

Derek Smith wrote…

Gallo will give you CD’s as prizes for your Pop Quiz.

{Grateful editor: Thanks a stack! Derek will be supplying a list of SA
music CDs available as prizes, and every week the lucky winner will be
able to select from that list and Gallo will post them on.}


This week’s question:

Byron du Plessis changed his name and joined Toto for
a brief spell in 1990. What was the new name he sang under?

Answer can be found on the SA Rock Lists Website at:
http://www.rock.co.za/files/sarocklists.html

The first correct answer will win a CD kindly supplied by Derek Smith
from Gallo.


SNIPPETS

MUSIC AND MEMORIES MEETING

Alan Hilton of Vibes Music has suggested a get-together of Cape Town
members of the SA Rock digest. I’ve spoken to Robbie Woodward who says
his pub, The Royal Oak in Table View, could be used as a venue.
Anybody interested?
Replies to vagabond@rock.co.za


SA MUSIC DAY – 27 MARCH

More here…
samusicday.co.za


ROCKY HORROR SHOW

Saw this show at the Nico on Friday – fantastic!


GARDEN PARTY

Valiant Swart and Koos Kombuis are appearing at Kirstenbosch Gardens
on Sunday, the 7th March. See you there!


Next issue…The Lancaster Band, McCully Workshop,
Steve Linnegar’s Snakeshed, Robbi Robb, Top 20 Hits
of 1959 (no space this week) and so much more…

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The SA Rock Digest is compiled by Brian “Vagabond” Currin from the
“Too Good To Be Forgotten” internet message board, e-mails from
various Digest members and other varied sources.

The opinions expressed here are not necessarily echoed by myself, but I
try and keep an open mind. (After growing up in SA in the 70s and
spending 5 years in the Army, that’s not so easy!)

For the basic rules of the Digest please visit:
http://www.rock.co.za/files/sa_rock_digest.html
or I can e-mail them to you.

Want a digest like this for your company, band, radio station…?
Go to: http://www.rock.co.za/files/


Want to know more about me, my websites and my love for music?
Go to: http://www.rock.co.za/files/

The SA Rock Files (the online archive for the History of South
African rock) is at:
http://www.rock.co.za/files/sarockfiles_main.html

Want up-to-date news, reviews and interviews on South African and
international music, with a healthy dose of humour?
Visit Sugar’s Amuzine site at: http://rock.co.za/amuzine

Visit the Indie Music Explosion website at: indie.co.za

Are you are a SA musician looking for info or resources?
Visit Gareth’s excellent backstage.co.za website.


SUBSCRIPTIONS

Reading someone else’s copy of this e-mag?

Subscribe yourself by sending an e-mail to mailto:vagabond@rock.co.za
with any words or phrases that vaguely indicate acceptance.

Y’know, like “I’m in”, “That’s great”, “OK”, “Here’s R1000 send me a
copy”…whatever.


Want to unsubscribe from this e-mag?

Surely not, but if you really must, then just send me an e-mail,
saying “I hate SA music”, “I’m bored” or “get my out of here” or
“I’ve had enough” or whatever, I’ll get the idea, eventually.

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